The Longshore Act provides important protections for injured harbor workers. If you have been injured at work, we can help you seek just compensation.
Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (the “Longshore Act”), harbor workers are entitled to receive no-fault benefits if they suffer injuries or get sick on the job. These benefits are paid by their employers (or, more commonly, their employers’ insurance companies), and they are intended to help compensate injured workers for their medical expenses and lost pay.
Unfortunately, while injured harbor workers are entitled to Longshore Act benefits regardless of the cause of their injury, many find it exceedingly difficult to obtain the benefits they deserve. Employers and insurance companies regularly fight injured workers’ claims, and there are strict timelines and procedures involved in filing for benefits under the Longshore Act. If you delay or make mistakes in filing your claim with the U.S. Department of Labor, you could easily end up without the money you need to cover your losses.
Injuries Commonly Suffered by Harbor Workers
At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, we help injured and sick harbor workers pursue third-party claims separate and apart from claims under the Longshore Act. We often work closely with the workers’ compensation attorneys who help our clients seek Longshore benefits from their employers while we simultaneously handle third-party claims against ship owners and other third parties. The reason is simple: We want to make sure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
We represent harbor workers in Texas, Louisiana, and nationwide in claims involving injuries and illnesses from causes such as:
- Crane and forklift injuries
- Explosions and fires
- Exposure to toxic fumes and chemicals
- Equipment accidents
- Near-drowning accidents
- Scaffolding accidents
- Slips and falls
- Vehicle collisions
Compensation for Harbor Workers’ Injuries
Benefits Available Under the Longshore Act
When seeking compensation from your employer under the Longshore Act, there are certain limitations on the benefits available. This is similar to workers’ compensation laws that apply to onshore workers. The benefits available to harbor workers under the Longshore Act include:
- Medical costs
- Physical therapy costs
- Vocational rehabilitation costs
- Disability benefits (compensation for lost wages)
Your employer is legally obligated to pay these benefits even if it is not at fault for your illness or injury. However, as we mentioned above, many employers will not pay without a fight.
Seeking Additional Compensation Through a Third-Party Claim
In addition to claiming these benefits from your employer, you may also be able to file what is known as a “third-party” claim under the Longshore Act. Third-party claims differ from employer claims in several important ways. Most importantly, unlike employer claims, third-party claims do not limit the compensation you can recover. This means that if someone other than your employer caused your injuries, you could be entitled to damages for your pain and suffering, all of your lost income, and your other losses.
When you contact us about your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to identify any third parties that may be responsible for your injuries. If you have a third-party claim, we will seek benefits from your employer and file a lawsuit against the third party in court in order to obtain the largest possible recovery for your losses.